Simpson confident

The head of Red Deer city RCMP’s detachment is optimistic his officers will be sticking around for a while after a review on policing is done next year.

The head of Red Deer city RCMP’s detachment is optimistic his officers will be sticking around for a while after a review on policing is done next year.

Supt. Brian Simpson said he welcomes the City of Red Deer review, which will look at the merits of setting up a new municipal police force versus keeping the RCMP here.

“There’s been similar reviews at various communities across the country and I know the results of the majority of those,” said Simpson on Friday. “I am very comfortable that our police force will stand up to what the process will examine.”

City council approved this week an in-depth organizational review for the city. As part of that study, the city will update the 2005 Crime Prevention and Policing Study.

The RCMP contract will also be reviewed.

Simpson said a number of communities, including Surrey and others in the populous lower B.C. mainland, have elected to keep the RCMP.

“There’s a bit of a misnomer that the RCMP doesn’t do municipal policing,” said Simpson. “We do the majority of it across Canada.”

One reason for keeping the RCMP may have to do with cost.

“Because you are spreading your costs over a larger base, we have the ability to do things a little cheaper than others,” he said.

Councillor Gail Parks has suggested having a blended service of RCMP and a municipal police force, where the RCMP would be left to do large criminal and federal matters.

She has also said that an additional municipal police force would give the city a better ratio of officers.

Simpson said he’s not familiar with a model like that anywhere in the country.

If Alberta’s third largest city decided to form its own municipal police force, Simpson said it must give a two-year notice to the RCMP.

This allows the RCMP to move their officers into other detachments.

“We’ve also taken over municipal police forces so we’ve always looked at absorbing those members into our service,” Simpson said.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com

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